Academic Bill of Rights Victory Roll · 11 March 2004

The unanimous vote on the Georgia resolution, which was introduced in February by State Senator Eric Johnson, was spurred on by student and faculty testimony at education committee hearings which revealed extensive abuses of academic freedom by professors and administrators at the state's public and private universities.

Among those who testified were United States Congressman Jack Kingston, Academic Bill of Rights author David Horowitz, Emory English Professor Mark Bauerlein and students from Georgia State and Georgia Tech Universities.

Students reported that they had been ridiculed, threatened and harassed in the classroom for voicing political views different from those of their professors.

"I have definitely experienced situations where I believe professors have abused their positions in the classroom, particularly when faced with students who do not agree with their specific point of view or line up with their political affiliation, testified Georgia Tech student Ruth Malhotra. "In one of my classes, when a student expresses a point of view different from that of the professor, the response is most often one of dismissal, telling students, 'You are ignorant' or 'you don't know anything.'"

Baurlein, an English professor at Emory University, spoke on the absence of conservative views in academia.

"A few years ago, Emory convened a panel on the issue of race and reconciliation, a topic that, surely, requires a full spectrum of speaker," Baurlein stated. "Here's who they were: Elaine Brown, ex-Black Panther leader; Tom Hayden, famed campus protester; a radical professor who promotes rap music; and a Marxist intellectual from Harvard. Such line-ups are typical."

The Georgia resolution is now expected to pass the Senate Rules Committee and will likely be voted on by the Senate within the next two weeks.

Now on to Missouri: State Senate Majority Leader Peter Kinder submitted the Academic Bill of Rights as a resolution in the state legislature on Tuesday, March 9th. This is the third state to introduce such legislation in as many months, and we expect many others to follow suit.

Our recent successes in Colorado, Missouri and Georgia are significant victories, but it is crucial that we remember they were driven by student testimonies of abuses in the classroom, particularly the attempts by professors to turn educational institutions into political platforms. We need to be prepared to present this evidence whenever and wherever it is needed to demonstrate that the Academic Bill of Rights is necessary. Gather information - the complaint forms are available at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org - and contact us about initiating legislation in your state.

Please continue to notify us of any violations of academic freedom on your campus by emailing me at sara@studentsforacademicfreedom.org or by submitting a complaint form through our website at this link.


Best Regards,

Sara Dogan
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom